Swoosie Kurtz

A respected character actress with an Emmy, two Tonys and countless other industry nominations to her credit, Swoosie Kurtz was born Sept. 6, 1944, in Omaha, Neb. Her unique name, which rhymes with "Lucy" (not with "woozy," as it's often mispronounced), was coined by her father, an Air Force colonel who drew his inspiration from a World War II bomber dubbed the "Swoose."

Kurtz studied acting at the University of Southern California and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art before launching her career on Broadway. Steady work in movies and television followed, and she forged a reputation as a versatile actress who could tackle almost any role.

Mainstream audiences most often associate Kurtz with her five-year stint as a Waspy wife (and Ashley Judd's mother) on the TV series "Sisters." Kurtz also enjoyed a high-profile run as a one-eyed recluse on the acclaimed "Pushing Daisies."